Cllr Laura McNamee said: “It is deeply troubling that there is such a lack of available social housing in East Belfast which is wheelchair accessible. Through my work as a Senior Caseworker in the East Belfast Alliance Office, I have assisted hundreds of people to get rehoused over the last few years. Unfortunately, it is often the most vulnerable who are left languishing on the waiting list the longest, purely on account of the shortage of ground floor accommodation.
“The Department of Social Development are aware of how many mobility claimants they have in any given district, as they are responsible for administering benefits; therefore, one would have hoped they could broadly forecast the level of demand for wheelchair accessible housing in any area.
“While I understand that public finances are tight, government needs to be more pro-active in providing housing for people with disabilities. We have new developments which are being built in East Belfast at present; however, these are intended for people over the age of 55, disadvantaging disabled people.
“I have contacted the Department for Social Development to raise my concerns and I would like to see them responding positively on this issue.”